Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hymn Lyrics for John 12:20-36

In this hymn based on John 12:20-36, I try to touch on the important truths taught in the passage. In John 12, Greeks come seeking Jesus. This signals that Jesus' hour had finally come. Throughout John's Gospel, we are told that Jesus' hour had not yet come, but now it is here. He came to earth to lay down his life for his people, and not just for believing Jews, but also for believing Gentiles. Jesus is the Savior of the world. Sadly, Jesus' own people, the Jews were in the process of rejecting him, although many believed. This rejection leads to Jesus' warning to trust in him and his withdrawal from the people in verse 36. Verses one and two of the hymn hits on these themes.

One of the themes of the hymn below is that we receive Christ's life through his death. We are saved by Christ, so that we might live with him above, and seek him above by faith. This is a present privilege of the believer, even if it will be fully true only when Christ returns. When Jesus says in verse 26 that "where I am, there will my servant be also," he is talking about the present. Our home is not this world that put Jesus to death in its sin and unbelief, but heaven where Jesus lives, and we by faith.

An important theme in John 12:20-36 is the theme of judgment. Disciples need to understand that Jesus' cross was God's judgment upon this unbelieving world. This world put God the Son to death, and this brings the world under his judgment, for the resurrection overturned the world's judgment of Jesus. We graciously escape this righteous judgment by coming to Jesus by faith. But Jesus commands us to hate our lives in this world (v. 25), for we cannot love a world that hated our Lord, who suffered and died to give us life. We live already by faith in our heavenly home in fellowship with the Father and the Son by the Spirit, and we look forward to our full enjoyment of our home at Christ's return.

The final couple verses emphasize the beauty and glory of our triune God. Jesus came to glorify the Father, and the Father glorified the Son, especially in his death and resurrection. God is glorious and his glory is seen in this beautiful, created world. But creation's beauty merely reflects the beauty of the triune God, who exists in love, for the Father, Son, and Spirit have loved one another from all eternity. This glorious love is seen in the cross, where God's grace and mercy for rebellious sinners is seen. The glory of God that we see in Christ, who is the exact image of God, should ravish our hearts. How gracious and glorious is the God who dies for his creatures who sinned against his majesty, taking their place and bearing their judgment. We have great reasons to trust in Jesus Christ, the glorious light of the world!

Singing the words is done by clicking on the tune name, MATERNA, but most probably know the tune to America the Beautiful. Reading the passage is also easily done by clicking on John 12:20-36.

Some Greeks Came Seeking Jesus Christ

To the tune: MATERNA O Beautiful for Spacious Skies. Based on John 12:20-36. Words: William Weber, 2011.

v. 1
Some Greeks came seeking Jesus Christ,
they wanted to see Him,
though Jewish leaders sought Him not,
remaining in their sin.
The Lord would soon be gathering
a crop of men for life,
disciples who would follow Him,
the Son of God, the Christ.

v. 2
The hour had come for which He came,
the hour of sacrifice,
the death that takes our sin away,
the death that gives us life.
The Son from heaven came to earth
to save us from our sin,
to glorify the Father’s name,
so we might live with Him.

v. 3
The cross brought judgment on this world
of sin and unbelief.
For men committed deicide,
they hung Him on a tree.
But through the cross God justifies,
through faith in Jesus Christ.
For on the cross our judgment bore,
and raised us to new life.

v. 4
O hate your life in this dark world
that put to death God’s Son.
And seek by faith the Lord above,
who our salvation won.
For all who follow Jesus Christ,
will live with Him above,
the Father and the Son to know,
who live in triune love.

v. 5
The glor-ious beauty of our God
through nature do we see.
Creation’s beauty points to Him,
for those with eyes to see.
But greater glory in the Son
to us is now revealed.
In Christ our Lord who gave His life,
and in whose wounds we’re healed.

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